[dropcap] A [/dropcap]ccording to the National Sleep Foundation, Sleep is essential for a person’s health and wellbeing. With such an expressed importance you would think sleep was a top priority for everyone, yet millions of people do not get enough sleep. There are over 70 different sleep disorders that affect adults at least a few nights a week. Most of the time, individuals with sleeping problems or disorders do not realize there is an issue and go undiagnosed and untreated. In general, adults need an average of eight hours of sleep a night, while others can properly function on as little as six hours of sleep. There are also individuals who cannot achieve effectiveness unless they've slept for about ten hours.
Lack of Sleep
Stress is the number one cause of short-term sleeping difficulties. Common triggers include school or job-related pressures, family or marriage problems, a serious illness or death in the family. Any of these situations can cause one to dwell on the negative side affecting sleep habits and ability. When the stressful situation disappears or is otherwise dealt with, the sleep problem also disappears. In some instances, if the short-term sleep problems are not managed properly, they can persist long after the original stress has passed.
Negative Side Effects Of Insufficient Sleep
A lack of adequate sleep can affect us in many ways. A lack of sleep can make you grumpy and foggy. It affects your sex life, memory, health, looks, and even ability to lose weight. Sleep loss has been the culprit behind some of the most drastic accidents. A person suffering from lack of sleep can become a public safety hazard leading to accidents and injuries on the job. Workers who suffer from lethargy have significantly more work accidents. Because sleep plays such a critical role in the thinking and learning process, the lack of sleep impairs attention, alertness, concentration, reasoning, and problem solving.
There are also various health conditions associated that are exacerbated by the lack of sleep. Heart conditions such heart attacks, failure, and irregular beats continue to decline when the body does not have the necessary sleep it needs to repair itself. High blood pressure, diabetes and stroke are also further aggravated by a lack of sleep. Sleep is also essential to healthy skin. Lack of sleep causes sallow skin and puffy eyes after only a few nights. Prolong deprivation of sleep will leave you with lackluster skin, fine lines, and dark circles under the eyes.
A little known sleep deprivation effect is a decline in sex drive and desire. Sleep specialists say that sleep-deprived men and women report lower libidos and less interest in sex. Depleted energy, sleepiness, and increased tension are largely to blame.
All in all, there are several tips that can assist in creating and maintaining a better sleep schedule:
- Keep a regular sleep/wake schedule
- Don’t drink or eat caffeine four to six hours before bed and minimize daytime use
- Don’t smoke, especially near bedtime or if you’re awake in the night
- Avoid alcohol and heavy meals before sleep
- Get regular exercise
- Minimize noise, light and excessive hot and cold temperatures where you sleep
- Develop a regular bed time and go to bed at the same time each night
- Try and wake up without an alarm clock
- Attempt to go to bed earlier every night for certain period; this will ensure that you’re getting enough sleep
Better sleep means a better life. Give yourself a break and get some rest. You'll thank yourself later.
Have any sleep tips you'd like to share? Post them in the comments section below!